Blues pip Moana Pasifika in heartbreaking fashion

Moana Pasifka were denied their biggest scalp in Super Rugby Pacific after the Blues scored a late penalty try to win 31-30 in a dramatic finish at Eden Park.

Following nine straight losses, Moana Pasifika were pipped in the final seconds in the one point thriller, to remain winless for the season.

Down by six points with time up, the Blues were awarded a penalty try from a scrum in the last play of the game.

Blues captain Dalton Papali'i said it was a considerable effort to come away with the win, despite being below their best.

"There's a bit of mixed emotions, we knew Moana was going to come here and bring it to us," he said.

"There's a rivalry building here already. It goes to show the quality side they are, they nearly took the win.

"I feel like we didn't execute in the areas that we needed to but you can't fault the effort from the boys."

Moana Pasifka came back after trailing 17-3 following three first half tries to the Blues from Akira Ioane, Kurt Eklund and Caleb Clarke.

Moana responded scoring 22 unanswered points to have the Blues facing defeat until the last play of the game.

Sam Darry's try in the 58th minute gave the Blues some momentum.

There were outstanding performances from Eri Enari, Christian Lealiifano, Levi Aumua and Neria Fomai in the Moana Pasifika side. While up front the tight five worked effectively. Timoci Tavatavanawai in the 36th minute and Abraham Pole four minutes later crossed for tries.

Lealiifano's stunning 47th minute effort looked to seal the game until the Blues final throw of the dice.

With the result the Blues claimed their fourth straight win and sit second on the ladder, with the Crusaders in third.

Beauden Barrett was missing from the Blues line-up through injury and will be racing to be fit in time for the blockbuster against the Crusaders next weekend.



Roger Tuivasa-Sheck of the Blues. Blues v Moana Pasifika, Round 11 of the Super Rugby Pacific competition at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday 6 May 2023. Mandatory credit: Andrew Cornaga / Photo: Andrew Cornaga/